Good news

some of you may recall that coffee was recently discovered to enhance brain health. Now the even better news that coffee won’t hurt you and is helpful to health in several ways.

My lovely wife sent me a link to this article packed with good news for coffee drinkers and perhaps sufficient justification for non coffee drinkers to take up the habit.

Diabetes: Twenty studies worldwide show that coffee, both regular and decaf, lowers the risk for Type 2 diabetes, in some studies by as much as 50%. Researchers say that is probably because chlorogenic acid, one of the many ingredients in coffee, slows uptake of glucose (sugar) from the intestines. (Excess sugar in the blood is a hallmark of diabetes.) Chlorogenic acid may also stimulate GLP-1, a chemical that boosts insulin, the hormone that escorts sugar from the blood into cells. Yet another ingredient, trigonelline, a precursor to vitamin B3, may help slow glucose absorption.

Heart disease and stroke: Recent studies suggest that frequent coffee consumption does not increase the risk of either condition. In fact, coffee might — repeat, might — slightly reduce the risk of stroke. A study published in March in the journal Circulation looked at data on more than 83,000 women older than 24. It showed that those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 19% lower risk of stroke than those who drank almost none. A Finnish study found similar results for men.

For cardiovascular diseases other than stroke, there doesn’t appear to be a preventive benefit from drinking coffee, but there is also no clearly documented harm; the studies looked at the effect of drinking up to six cups of regular coffee a day.

Cancer: Coffee research has come up empty here — with one big exception: liver cancer. Research consistently shows a drop in liver cancer risk with coffee consumption, and there is some, albeit weaker, evidence that it may lower colon cancer risk as well.

go read the article for more on the benefits of coffee with regard to cirrhosis, parkinson’s disease and athletic performance. It also talks about the benefits of filtered versus unfiltered coffee.

excuse me while I go get a refill.

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